The sixth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2021) is all set to resume this month in Abu Dhabi. The tournament began in February 2021, but unfortunately, the Pakistan Cricket Board had no choice but to suspend it indefinitely on March 4 because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the bio-bubbles.
PSL 2021 will resume on June 9 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Since international cricket has also begun, a few overseas players were not available for the second half of the season. As a result, the organizers have allowed the franchises to sign replacements in a mini Draft.
Some big names like Andre Russell, Fidel Edwards, Seekkugge Prasanna, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratulah Zazai have joined the squads. Apart from the returning stars, there are a few overseas players who received PSL contracts for the first time in their careers.
1. Martin Guptill will play for the Karachi Kings in PSL 2021
Kiwi opener Martin Guptill is not part of the New Zealand squad for the Tests in England. The right-handed batter thus made himself available for PSL 2021 and bagged a contract from the Karachi Kings.
The defending champions will benefit a lot because Guptill has the experience of playing 271 T20 matches. He has aggregated over 7,500 runs in this format, while his highest T20 score is 120*.
2. Usman Khawaja will play for Islamabad United in PSL 2021
Another opening batsman to appear on this list is Australia's Usman Khawaja. The left-handed batsman will turn up for his home franchise Islamabad United team in the second phase of PSL 2021.
Like Guptill, Khawaja has played T20 cricket around the world. So far, the Islamabad-born player has scored 2,632 runs in 98 T20s at a decent average of 28.92. He will unite forces with Colin Munro in the Islamabad team.
3. James Faulkner will turn up for the Lahore Qalandars
Australian all-rounder James Faulkner has recovered from the hamstring injury that ruled him out of BBL 2020-21. Faulkner, who has played for multiple IPL franchises, will make his PSL debut this year.
The Lahore Qalandars roped him in as a replacement player for the second phase of the season. Faulkner is a T20 specialist, who has taken 243 wickets and scored 1,814 runs in 211 T20s.
4. Shimron Hetmyer is set to play for the Multan Sultans in PSL 2021
Shimron Hetmyer was one of the biggest names to earn a PSL contract in the mini replacement Draft. The Caribbean batsman will join the Multan Sultans squad this year.
Hetmyer was in excellent touch during IPL 2021. He played a few good knocks for the Delhi Capitals team, and the Multan Sultans team management will expect him to continue his fine form when he makes his PSL debut in the UAE.
5. Brandon King has earned a contract from Islamabad United
Islamabad United signed two star top-order batters in the mini replacement Draft. Apart from Australia's Usman Khawaja, they also signed West Indies' hard-hitter Brandon King.
Brandon has never played in a top-level Asian T20 league. He has majorly played T20 cricket in the West Indies. It will be exciting to see how the 26-year-old player performs in his first PSL season.
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